PRESIDENT Bola Ahmed Tinubu has expressed anger over the Nigerian Army’s air bombing of Maulud celebrants in Kaduna on Sunday, December 3.
In a statement released on Tuesday, December 5, and signed by his spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale, the President said he had ordered a full investigation into the incident.
The ICIR reports that scores of people were feared dead when Tundun Biri village was bombed while residents celebrated Maulud Nabiyy (the birth of Prophet Muhammad) in the late hours of Sunday.
While the Army has admitted it carried out the attack, details of the tragedy are still sketchy. Pictures and posts sighted by The ICIR on social media, particularly X, indicate that no fewer than 30 people lost their lives during the incident.
Army takes responsibility for bombing
Following the incident, the Kaduna state government called an emergency security meeting chaired by the deputy governor, Hadiza Balarabe, on Monday, December 4.
After the meeting, the Nigerian Army took responsibility for the bombing.
The commissioner overseeing the state’s Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the development at the end of an emergency security meeting.
According to Aruwan, the operation unintentionally harmed residents as the forces were conducting a routine raid against local insurgents.
He also revealed that the injured victims had been taken to the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital for medical attention and that search and rescue efforts were still ongoing.
“The General Officer Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army, Major VU Okoro, explained that the Nigerian Army was on a routine mission against terrorists but inadvertently affected members of the community,” Aruwan said.
Tinubu angry over attack
Reacting to the incident on Tuesday, Tinubu sympathised with the families of victims and the government of Kaduna state.
“Tinubu describes the incident as very unfortunate, disturbing, and painful, expressing indignation and grief over the tragic loss of Nigerian lives.
“The President directs a thorough and full-fledged investigation into the incident and calls for calm while the authorities look diligently into the mishap,” the presidency’s statement reads in part.
The President also directed swift and comprehensive medical attention for survivors of the attack while praying for the repose of the souls of the deceased.
Not the first time
The ICIR reports that the attack wasn’t the first time the Nigerian military would be accused of bombing unarmed Nigerians.
In 2021, The ICIR reported how the Nigerian military killed and injured civilians in several villages, leading to the forced displacement of hundreds of residents.
The military had embarked on offensive airstrikes at insurgents’ hideouts in Zamfara state and provided support for ground troops to rid out criminals from the North-East region.